In early December, Western Michigan University quietly unveiled a new logo set and simplified color scheme that will be slowly rolled out across academics and athletics over the next year
The new primary logo – which was created by seven alumni with more than 200 years of professional graphic design experience – features a gold “W” enclosed in a brown circle with a gold outline. It also comes with an updated wordmark that promotes the university’s name more than previous iterations.
“Our ‘W’ logo has been part of our heritage for nearly all of Western’s history,” WMU vice president for marketing and strategic commutations Tony Proudfoot said. “While its basic shape has remained consistent, it has evolved with the times. (It’s) time to evolve again.”
The Broncos reduced their official color scheme from seven colors to two – brown and gold – by removing black, light brown, silver, white and Vegas gold from the equation. They also revealed a refined version of their “Ghost Bronco” logo, which will still be used as a spirit mark throughout the athletic department.
“Over time, our marks and colors have fractured and strayed from a core and consistent identity,” Proudfoot said. “Using multiple versions of our logo and a variety of color weakens our overall brand, and some marks simply don’t work from a technical standpoint.”
Western Michigan has essentially taken the original “Ghost Bronco” logo, flipped its orientation, updated the color, filled in the eye, gave it an outline and added gold accents throughout. It will be used as a standalone design rather than on top of the “W,” as it has in years past.
“Moving forward, we will transition to the new marks as cost-effectively as possible,” Proudfoot said. “Because all the design work and testing was completed internally, there were no external expenditures to refresh the identity. Most items will be updated through their normal life cycle and the mark will be introduced on new items as they are needed.”
The new logos have already appeared on uniforms for the men’s tennis and soccer programs, as well as signage around campus and the university and athletic department’s social media channels.
Photos courtesy of Western Michigan University and @WMUMensSoccer on Twitter.